2016 Waste Management Winter RallySprint
February 20, 2016
Press Notes #5– Sunday morning – post-rally
26. Surviving changing road conditions that started off icy and hard and finished slushy, muddy and rough, driver Jon Kramer, from Ligonier, Pennsylvania, and his co-driver Jason Smith, piloted their Subaru Impreza four-wheel-drive turbo to victory in the first-ever Sports Car Club of America (SCCA)Waste Management Winter RallySprint yesterday in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania.
The RallySprint, which was 56 miles of competition driving, one car at a time against the clock, was the very first of the SCCA’s new RallySprint program for advanced amateur rallyists. This new “rally light” class is designed to help bridge the gap between RallyCross for beginners and stage rallying for the more serious competitors, and is also a training ground for volunteers, organizers and race officials to get used to rally operations before working a stage rally. This event, like the ones that will follow around the country, will take place on private roads and will be one-day events to minimize expenses for the competitors. The next step up, full stage rallying, are events that typically last three days and more than 120 miles of competitive driving.
For this rally, the 18 starting competitors ran a 13-mile gravel road within the Waste Management property on the outskirts of Wellsboro five different times, three times in one direction and twice in the other direction. Although it was the same road, each of the five passes on the stage presented different problems because of the unseasonably high temperatures for winter (above 60 degrees F) and the condition of the road as the day wore on, according to Kramer.
“The first stage was very slippery as most of the road was still frozen from the overnight temperature, and four cars slid off the course. We wanted to make sure out day didn’t end after only a few miles, so we were cautious. But then, as the road began to thaw, not only did it become muddy and wet, but the rocks started to come to the surface as the gravel started to get chewed up from the cars. We ended up with four flat tires and a broken wheel before the end of the event, but we just kept going and our Subaru ran great,” said Kramer, whose car was one of only 11 competitors to finish the RallySprint.
Stephen Hyatt, the national RallyCross/RallySprint chairman for SCCA, was pleased with how the event was organized, not only because in brought the Club’s Finger Lakes Region (Rochester, NY –based) back into the rally-organizing business for the first time in ten years, but because the competitors have really responded to this new stepping-stone RallySprint event class.
“I am really proud of how well the SCCA Finger Lakes Region organizing committee performed, and the competitors really appreciated getting the sensation of rally driving on gravel roads without the expense and time commitment needed for full championship stage rally. As this was only the first event, and we have some tweaking of the rules ahead of us, the drivers and teams all gave us high marks,” Hyatt said.
Here are the four class winners (driver/ co-driver, hometown, car, class, time)
- Jon Kramer/Jason Smith, Ligonier, Pennsylvania, Subaru Impreza, RallySprint 4WD Over ,1:15.25 – overall winner as well
- Sebastian Gomez Abero/James Clark IV, Arlington, Virginia, Subaru Impreza, RallySprint 4WD Under – (Did not finish, but completed more stages than other class entries)
- Robert Dawson/Lori Clute, Alton, NY, VW Jetta, RallySprint 2WD Under – 1:25.15
- Charlie Tamaris/Matt James, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, Porsche 944, RallySprint 2WD Over – (Did not finish, but completed more stages than other class entries)
Complete finishing results are listed at the event web site (below).
More details on all the competitors can be found online at the following locations:
Event web site: http://wmwr.info/ (includes entry list and full rally schedule)
Official event hashtag is #wmwr16.